East Anglia: Birds of prey killed by illegal poisoning

A female marsh harrier

A female marsh harrier - Credit: citizenside.com

The RSPB and two police forces are appealing for information after the recent deaths of three birds of prey in East Anglia.

Two species – the marsh harrier and red kite – have fallen victim to illegal poisoning by a lethal pesticide, most probably laced on baits left out in the countryside.

A breeding pair of marsh harriers was discovered dead adjacent to the RSPB’s Nene Washes Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire in April, followed by a red kite discovered in Old Leake, Boston, Lincolnshire in May.

Toxicology tests run by the government’s Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme confirmed that the banned pesticide, Aldicarb, was used to poison all three birds. No one has been found responsible for either offence, and the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) who fund the Scheme has now closed its investigations into both incidents.

Alan Roberts, of the National Wildlife Crime Unit said: “The pointless killing of these birds in such an indiscriminate way stands to undermine the hard work of a lot of people.”

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